Democratic Culture Absent in Nepal’s ‘Democratic’ Parties

As Nepal’s municipal election is round the corner, people are very enthusiastic to elect their representatives. It is the best opportunity to revive the derailed democratic process and representative system of government.

Elections are the soul of a democratic system and the people are the ultimate judge to decide who they want to rule the country. So election is a must to consolidate democracy and empower the people.

It is beyond any shade of doubt that national interest is over and above personal and partisan interest. All political forces, civil society and individual citizens must bury their personal interests and differences and work together for the broader national interest.

Unfortunately, our political parties have failed to demonstrate the national vision and democratic culture. Their present activities and remarks testify that they are more for grabbing power rather than serving the nation and the people. Party leaders are talking tall about democracy and human rights, but their activities do not at all comply with their words.

Democracy should be reflected in action. Parties on the one hand are talking democracy but they are, at the same time, trying to block the democratic process. The nation has been without elected representatives for more than three years. The government is committed to conduct the municipal polls in a free and fair manner.

Those who believe in democracy must participate in the election by extending their full cooperation in making the election free and fair. The remarks and actions of the political parties are by no means democratic. Instead of helping consolidate the democratic process, political parties are now trying to tarnish the image of some very revered and respectful institutions, which cannot be tolerated by the people.

Parties and politicians have no right to deprive the people of their right to vote and choose their representatives. If political parties continue to show their destructive and irresponsible behaviour, they will harm themselves. Democracy can be strengthened and institutionalized through free, fair and impartial elections.

Since the electoral process has already begun, it would consolidate the multi-party democracy and fundamental human rights. Against this background, some politicians and civil society representatives have asked the seven political parties including the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML to shun their egoistic mentality and join the electoral fray. These so-called big parties need to understand the fact that voting is the fundamental democratic right of the people. Thus, political parties must stop talking nonsense and participate in the electoral process.

The people are the masters and the parties are their servants.

By Chiran

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